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93 per cent of Jordan’s electricity generated by natural gas

By JT - May 05,2018 - Last updated at May 05,2018

AMMAN — Imported natural gas contributes to the production of 93 per cent of the electricity generated in the Kingdom, while the share of renewable energy is the remaining 7 per cent, the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) said on Friday.

Assistant director general of production planning at NEPCO, Amin Zaghal, told the Jordan News Agency, Petra, that the power plants in the Kingdom are currently relying on imported natural gas coming through Aqaba Port, while the rest is produced by renewable energy sources (solar and wind power).

The power generation plants currently consume about 320 million cubic feet of gas per day, and in terms of electrical loads, the outcome ranges between 2,450 MW and 2,500 MW, while the combined generation capacity is 3,800 MW, Zaghal said.

In early 2014, NEPCO signed an agreement with Shell International under which the company will supply 150 million cubic feet of natural gas per day for a period of five years.

The selection of Shell International came after the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and NEPCO offered global competitive bids for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) purchase from global markets.

Renewable energy contributes to the total energy mix in the Kingdom by about 500 MW, as part of a drive to reach 2,700 MW of the total generation capacity of the Kingdom by 2021.

According to official data, the annual growth rate of electricity demand in the Kingdom is estimated at about 3 per cent.

In its strategy for 2015-2025, the Ministry of Energy pledged to diversify Jordan’s energy supply by increasing domestic sources’ contribution to the total energy mix through increasing renewable energy contribution to the total energy mix, oil shale exploitation for oil production and electricity generation, rationalise energy consumption and improve energy efficiency in all sectors.

Jordan used to rely on Egyptian natural gas before the 2011 Arab Spring revolts but the pipeline became a target for frequent terrorist sabotage attacks that caused disruptions and finally a complete halt of the gas flow. The country had to rely on the more costly heavy fuel to operate its generation facilities before switching to LNG after building a special terminal in Aqaba to handle the incoming shipments.

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